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American Scarecrows keep their devils around with a new album

Categories: Interview
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American Scarecrows was formed in almost a Frankenstein-like manner. Arriving at their final destination from other bands such as Dropping Daylight and Somerset, the Minneapolis-based indie rock quartet came together in late 2010 to create their newest album, Keep Your Devils Around.  

Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of story-telling. Their entire approach to music -- sonically, aesthetically, conceptually -- is essentially a melding of the distinctly creative personalities of the four members. The band has their sights set on the future, stemming from their CD release at the Triple Rock on October 22nd.


American Scarecrows:
Seth Davin - Vox, Guitar
Kevin Mayer - Vox, Acoustic Guitar
Allen Maier - Drums
Matthew Broadbent - Bass

Gimme Noise: Where did the name Keep Your Devils Around come from?  What was the concept behind the album?

Keep Your Devils Around is from a line in our song "Wild Hearts." To me, it represents holding onto your youth. In the song the phrase is a metaphor for the things in your life that are harmful to a point, yet provide some sort of release. It's a testament to the freedom and sometimes caustic pleasures of being a youth in America. 

It sounds like you guys came up with pieces pretty quickly for this album.  Are you constantly writing?  What was the writing process like for this album? 


On KYDA, we sort of just threw together some songs Seth and I had been sitting on for a three or four years -- along with a couple new ones. Most of the songs on the record were individually written long before the band even formed. The songs "Wild Hearts" and "No Guts, No Laurie" were collaborative efforts form Seth and myself. Most of the songs on the record that I wrote were from when I was eighteen or nineteen; being twenty-three now, it feels very cathartic finally getting them into peoples ears.

How did you vibe off each other when creating new songs?

Seth and I write very well together, we most of the time just have little tips for each others already formed songs. Like "That could use a double chorus," or "That line has too many syllables in it, try this. . ."

What are your favorite tracks off Keep Your Devils Around?


Well, if had to make a four song sampler it would include: "In The Name Of The Best Within Us," "No Guts No Laurie," "Depending On The Weather," and "Naked In The Gallery." However, that list is constantly changing. 

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I hear a lot of bluegrass influence in American Scarecrows.  Are there any artists that you draw inspiration from?  Anyone that you would never want to be compared to?


I grew up listening to a lot of mainstream nineties alternative such as The Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind, etc. -- pretty much whatever was on the radio in my dad's car. I am a total lyric junkie. If the band I am listening to doesn't have what I think to be intelligent lyrical content I don't like it.

Some of my favorite songwriters are Tom Gabel, Conor Oberst, Tom Waits, Jeff Tweedy, Taylor Goldsmith, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Nick Cave. It would be an absolute honor to be compared to anyone on that list. I think there are definite bluegrass influences in KYDA, especially on "In The Name" I would say Seth definitely has more "old timey" folk influence than me. If Neil Young, Jack White, and Sandra Bullock had a love child, it would be Seth.

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Had any of you attended SXSW before this year?  What was your experience like? 

Seth and Allen have played SXSW a couple times with their old band Dropping Daylight. Matt and I had never played there before, actually it was the first time I had ever played out of state. The experience was amazing, as it always is when you pack so much culture into a small location. I remember finishing up our set at Emo's annex, turning the corner onto sixth street, and seeing thousands of people swimming amid the street performers and food stands, paradise.

Any plans on returning next year?

I would LOVE to play there again.
How did you come to the decision to have the CD release at the Triple Rock and what can we expect at the show?

We love the Triple Rock; it's a great venue with great sound. I couldn't think of a more perfect club. You can expect some good old fashioned folk rock, a good vibe, and brief nudity. 

Finish this statement: "Never have I ever..."

...done an interview before.

American Scarecrows will release Keep Your Devils Around October 22nd at the Triple Rock Social Club with Christ Shotliff & The Hardest Part and Dustin Hatzenbuhler.
18+, $10, 9 pm


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